Courtney’s story…From C-section to Bikini Ready!
In Courtney words - I have battled my weight my whole life. When I found out I was pregnant August 14, 2010 with my first child, I was over joyed! I did the best I could to eat healthy for my baby and myself. Having issues with my weight, I knew that I had better be careful and not give into cravings or I would totally blow up. As my belly continued to expand, I began to worry about what my body would look like “post baby”. I wanted the body I had before I got pregnant, and possibly even better. I made a promise to myself and my baby girl that I would maintain my health, fitness, and youth to the best of my ability.
UGH- Towards the end of my third trimester I felt HUGE. I had gained 65 lbs and I was in a lot of pain. The pain was caused not by my growing baby, but the fact that my amniotic fluid was not dissipating. I wore belly bands for support, but there was no relief. Finally, my Doctor became concerned for my health and scheduled a C-section a week before my due date. That week wasn’t enough, so the delivery was moved up and my daughter arrived 3 days earlier by c-section.
What a mess- Although I was overjoyed to have such a beautiful healthy baby girl, I couldn’t help feeling totally discouraged with the horrible mess my body was in. I was naive to how severe a c-section really is. I was looking down at a 12 inch cut with staples across my abdomen, purple and red stretchmarks. I really didn’t have any hope for recovery, or even to be able to wear a bathing suit in public ever again.
My journey back- I felt fat, alone and tired. I was in pain all the time. I had terrible back pain from my core being so weak due to the c-section. I had been in a terrible motorcycle accident in 2009 which gave me permanent injuries to my neck, right shoulder, and back. The pain from the c-section was making those old injuries worse and I was forced to bed rest for 4 weeks after birth. Yet, though all of that…somehow…I was still determined!
Baby Steps (mine!)- I started with what I could do. I did small arm workouts with 5lbs weights and once I was able, I started to walk around the block. At this time I was eating healthy, but not clean. I didn’t have much will-power against sugar, Mexican food, or pizza. I finally just stopped eating out and began to watch my portions more closely. I ate chicken, veggies, and rice everyday in an attempt to lose weight. That is all I knew, so that is what I did. That lasted about a week until the boredom got to me…I just couldn’t do it anymore! I went back to the diet I followed when I was in great shape in my early 30′s.
EXCUSES set in. I couldn’t stick to the diet because I didn’t have the time to prep meals. I was so busy with the baby, recovering and domestic duties, NOT to mention the fact that I am a horrible cook! I have no patience for cooking. I gave up on following the diet…so back to chicken and rice it was.
Classes- I decided to join a pilates classs for a month. It was very expensive but helped me to regain the strength in my core! I still wasn’t thrilled with my weight so I decided to join a CrossFit gym for a month. It was a kick butt workout but because of my old motorcycle injuries, the pain set in and I quit. What was I going to do now???
Why was this so hard? That is when I reached out to my friend Natalie Jill. Natalie has been a friend for over 6 years, and I had done here make-up on several occasions the past year or so when she started fitness modeling. I have seen first hand how passionate she is about health and fitness. She works incredible hard and is a mother herself. I knew Natalie would understand my needs, fears and concerns.
I called Natalie, she reassured me that all my fears and frustrations would not get in the way of my goals if I was determined. She told me what she went through and how she regained her figure after her baby. She told me I was being to hard on myself, that I needed to relax, and that it takes a little bit of time. I would always see the celebrities “stepping out” 30 days after giving birth and they looked better than I did my whole life. That’s what I was basing my progress on!
Natalie told me that was NOT realistic, so I was just setting myself up for disappointment by trying to compare myself to those hollywood stories. What she though, was tell me about a diet/lifestyle online book she was writing called the 7 Day Jump start and that it would be ready in a week or so. When it came out I purchased it right away. The recipes were easy and the food was actually really good and EASY to prepare. I was surprised to see that it wasn’t a diet, but a lifestyle change that I could stick to for years to come! Some of my friends even decided to do it with me, so I was pumped!
The first few days- I noticed right away how much BETTER I felt! I had so much more energy and went from a pot of coffee all day, to one cup in the morning! The food was light, I never felt weighed down. I lost 4.5 lbs in the first week! 3lbs the next! Because the recipes are gluten free and incorporate healthy fats, I believe it works great for everyone. My favorite new food is the shrimp tacos! They are totally delish and so EASY to make! Shrimp, corn tortilla, cabbage, and I drench it in lemon! I also love the deviled eggs with hummus, so tasty and easy!!
My life today- It has been over 7 weeks since the 7 day Jump start helped me change my life. I followed the program exactly as written the first week, and then I began to swap meals around with my own substitutions on the “allowed list” the second week. I also purchased the smoothie book, protein powders, and Octane energy drink on Natalie’s recommendations. I am obsessed with these products! Energy supplements usually cause me to get sick but with Octane I feel great! NO stomach aches or bloating here! I also LOVE Natalie Jill’s Smoothie book – I mix up the recipes and its like dessert for me. The Smoothies help calm my insatiable sweet tooth. Family and friends are always telling me how good I look (I think they are shocked that I was able to do it! haha!) I feel good and have the motivation to keep this going! After all…it IS my lifestyle now!
Success! I have not only reached my goal of being under 140, I have exceeded it and am now 135lbs, and I lost roughs 12 lbs. I am not trying to be a fitness model, just a mom wanting to be the best I can be for my Daughter and Me
I believe that good old fashion diet and exercise is the key to losing weight.. No fad diets, living on shakes, juice fasts, pills, lap bands, etc for me! All you need is motivation, a realistic plan for the future, and self control. Natalie provided me with the plan and the ideas, she helped with motivation, but I had to do the work. Self control is critical. Nobody can make you put the cupcake down but you. Make up your mind to live a healthy lifestyle.
-Thank you Natalie for helping me achieve my goals! Much love, Courtney and Baby Shayla
Great job Courtney!!!
About Natalie Jill
Natalie Jill helps people across the globe reach their health, fitness, life and business goals. Natalie is a well known Licensed Sports Nutritionist and Certified Personal Trainer who was diagnosed as having Celiac Sprue over 12 years ago, and that is why she specializes in weight loss consulting and helping people with food allergies and intolerance’s. Learn how Natalie handled adversity and find out how she "made her own luck". Ready to change your life today? Start by CLICKING HERE.